Today marks the start of Alcohol Awareness Week (15-21st November 2021), which is hosted by Alcohol Change UK and this year focuses on the theme ‘alcohol and relationships.’
The aim of the week is to educate individuals about alcohol so they can feel empowered to make informed choices about their drinking, seek support if they need it and are confident in supporting others who maybe struggling.
There is clear evidence that alcohol increases the risk of many serious health conditions and by making changes to drinking habits the risk can be reduced. Alcohol related harm soared during the pandemic, creating conditions for more people to drink more heavily and more than usual. This is reflected in figures presented by the Office of National Statistics and findings from the Office of Health Improvement and Disparities (formerly Public Health England) who identified a 20% increase in alcohol specific deaths in 2020 (compared to 2019) and an unprecedented rise is alcoholic liver disease deaths. 
Through offering information and advice to raise awareness of the harms caused by alcohol. Giving people the tools to change their relationship with alcohol and signposting those and their families who need it - support has never been so important.
How can you or your service support the campaign?
Share / re-tweet the posts via the Bath and North East Somerset Council Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #AlcoholAwarenessWeek. The Public Health Team will be showcasing key messages and activity on social media and providing training to professionals and volunteers in the local area.
Signpost anyone under 18 to the new self-help website The Wrap or refer them to Project 28 for further support with alcohol. There is now a transitional service in place for anyone aged 18 – 25 years. For anyone over 18 experiencing problems with drug and alcohol use, signpost them to DHI.
Check out the Workforce Directory 2021- 2022 PDF for further information on training and development opportunities.
Many organisations, settings and workplaces across the area will be promoting this week either virtually or face to face. Here is a snapshot of some of the things happening during the week:
People can pop down to DHI St James Parade for a free and confidential chat about their alcohol use from Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.
Think Family Alcohol Awareness Training, a new training package developed by Project 28 and B&NES Public Health is being delivered to professionals on Tuesday 16th November.
Alcohol Awareness Training is being delivered to professionals and volunteers on the Wednesday 17th November.
An internal training session has been organised for B&NES Council staff on Thursday 18th November.
Project 28 will be doing some outreach work across B&NES throughout the week.
DHI Bath - The Beehive
Telephone: 01225 329411 Email: TheBeehive@dhibath.org.uk
Address: The Beehive, Beehive Yard, Walcot Street, Bath BA1 5BD
DHI Midsomer Norton – Rural Recovery Hub
Telephone: 01761 419086 Address: The Recovery Hub, High Street, Midsomer Norton, BA3 2DP
DHI Project 28 (services for Young People)
Telephone: 01225 463344
Fax: 01225 463345
Address: Project 28, 28 Southgate Street, Bath, BA1 1TP
SPOTLIGHT ON SPIKING RESOURCES
Alcohol Education Trust – Drink Spiking Fact Sheet for over 16 years
Bristol Anti-Spiking Campaign – signs and symptoms to look out for, what to do inside and outside of the venue and where to get support. Bath Bid will soon be sharing the campaign around Bath in the next few weeks.
Additional links and resources
Drinkaware Digital Scratch Card Tool - find out what type of drinker you are.
DHI webFam - an online self-help tool for families & carers of drug or alcohol users.
NHS Drink Free Days information page and smartphone app.
B&NES Local Alcohol Profile to track and monitor recent trends and data.
We Are with You Over 50’s Alcohol Helpline on 0808 801 0750 or book an online appointment.
Adfam – comprehensive list of supporting organisations for families.
Drink Well, Age Well Professional Resources including a good practice guidance for supporting older adults who have an alcohol problem and cognitive impairment.
Next steps – 16 days of action and Dry January
16 Days of Action 25th November 2021 – 10th December 2021
With this year’s theme Alcohol Awareness Week being around relationships, it’s important to be aware of the 16 days of Action Campaign and supporting materials, see here.
The 16 Days of Action is an annual international campaign on domestic violence and abuse. The campaign kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
The campaign is endorsed by Office of Health Improvement and Disparities.
This year’s theme is “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now.”
Dry January – 1st January 2022 – 30th January 2022
In 2021 6.5 Million people took on the biggest Dry January ever meaning that they went alcohol-free for the month of January, and that can bring huge benefits.
People who take on the official Dry January with Alcohol Change UK are twice as likely to have a totally alcohol-free month. For campaign information and promotional materials, see here.